Department of International Relations deputy minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said the government had sent a letter of apology to the Nigerian government following the deportation of 125 of its citizens .
Last week Friday, the foreign nationals were deported from the OR Tambo International Airport for allegedly being in possession of fake yellow fever vaccine certificates.
The Nigerian government retaliated by deporting 28 South Africans when they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos on Monday.
“We were the first to not allow Nigerians and it is proper that we apologise and we are not expecting the Nigerian government to apologise to us,” said Ebrahim.
“We understand the reaction by the Nigerians because they were deported.”
He could not confirm whether the certificates were in fact fraudulent.
Instead he said the department had decided that senior officials should be consulted by immigration officials at the airport before taking action.